Mrs. Graham has asked me to please post this quick update! As many of you may be aware of, after the holidays are over, Crag na dun Time Tours will be sending me on my own Time travel adventure. I am working with them right now doing a great deal of in depth research in order to make my journey as successful as possible. I originally thought that this offer was just a great gift in appreciation for all of the free advertisement I have given her company… Ummm No, it turns out that I am being used as a guinea pig in a way to test their new travel sites in Scandinavia! I will also be doing historical investigations for the various sites involved while on this trip and hopefully, I will be able to get it all done and return to the present in time for the return of Outlander to Starz network!
Crag na dun Time tours has made special arrangements for me to travel back to the Viking era via some Standing Stones in Denmark and southern Sweden. They did debate on using some in the northern parts of Sweden near Uppsala but decided that the Stones in the more southern regions would make for easier travel connections to the area and people they are sending me to.
While the company normally does not promote, guarantee or promise meetings or connections with historically famous people, they are making an exception this time for their research purposes. They will be placing me within close proximity to a particular family and Clan to observe and follow. I am to document the history and events of this group. Upon my return, I will work on a thorough investigation as to the accuracy of said history!
The family that they want me to focus on is that of one Ragnar Lodbrok, located in Kattegat Bay between Denmark and Sweden during the mid 800s.
Ragnar Lodbrok with his wife and children in the beginnings of their legacy.
We will begin our journey with this family after the holiday. For right now, we just want to share a few of the Stone sites that will be working in conjunction with Crag na dun Time Tours in the future if this trip works out well…. as in if I make a successful round trip of it!
Please be aware and advised that these sites differ a bit from those Stone Circles and such that you might be used to in the British Isles. These Stone Circles are most usually in the shape of an ellipse and often referred to as Stone Ships. They are scattered throughout southern Scandinavia and some date back to the late Bronze age and earliest Stone Age. They are not nearly as well researched or documented as those Stone Circles of Britain and it is much assumed that they were ancient burial sites to represent funeral ships which would carry the dead to the other side of the unknown.
What is important to keep in mind when looking at these different sites and attempting to make comparisons, is that the earliest Nordic tradition and rituals are still only surmised or guessed about? They did not have a full written language and much of their most ancient history has been lost or not documented as precisely as other cultures of the time. They relied on an oral tradition of passing down their history and some of it has not survived accurately. The earliest Stone sites may have been for sacred rituals besides burial burnings. There are time spaces or gaps between usage of many of the sites with the burial mounds and remains often dating later than original stone placements. This would suggest that the sites were possibly sacred and of some significance before the people began burying their dead there.
This one, Altes Lager (Menzlin) is located south of the village of Menzlin near Anklam, Western Pomerania, Germany. The site, on the banks of the river Peene, was an important Viking trading-post during the Viking Age. At that time, Pomerania was inhabited by Slavic Wends, yet several Viking trading-posts were set up along the coast (the nearest were Ralswiek to the West and Jomsborg/Wollin to the east).
One of the largest and most known sites is at Anundshog, Sweden.
Welcome to Anundshög
During the Stone Age, around 2500 BC, people were already beginning to settle on the long ridge which had been formed when the inland ice retreated.
Trade routes and water courses met around Badelunda ridge and over the centuries the area became a cultural centre for the whole of the western Mälardalen region.
It was here people gathered for the Thing (district court), even as late as the Middle Ages. It was here people sacrificed to their gods and later prayed to the new Christian god. It was here the dead were buried, in large and impressive burial mounds or simple and insignificant graves along the side of the ridge down towards the water, according to power and position.
Its period of greatness lasted during the whole of the Iron Age, that is from around 500 BC to around 1050 AD, which is why today the Anundshög area is one of the largest and richest areas with prehistoric remains in Sweden.
If you look at this old map, you will see that Anundshog is near Uppsala, another sacred site for the Vikings. It is quite a distance from where we need to be though and would require a rather long journey aside from the one I will already be encountering!
We are searching for a site a bit closer to Kattegat.
For our upcoming trip, we will be using the Stones Site at Lindholm Hoje near Aalborg Denmark!
The southern (lower) part of Lindholm Høje dates to 1000 – 1050 AD, the Viking Age, while the northern (higher) part is significantly earlier, dating back to the 5th century AD. An unknown number of rocks were removed from the site over the centuries, many, for example, being broken up in the 19th century for use in building roads. The Viking Age part of the burial ground suffered more from this than the earlier part. The first major archaeological excavation, which ultimately encompassed 589 of the approximately 700 graves, began in 1952, although excavations had been conducted as early as 1889.
Remains of villages have been found. The settlement is at an important crossing over the Limfjord, a stretch of water which divides what is now Jutland. During the Viking period, it was only possible to make the crossing at this point or much further along the fjord at Aggersund, because of the swamps which then edged the fjord on either side.
The settlement was abandoned in approximately 1200 AD, probably due to sand drifting from the western coast, which was a consequence of extensive deforestation and the exposed sand then being blown inland by the rough westerly winds. The sand which covered the site served to protect it in large part over the intervening centuries.